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ICAO releases global emissions trading scheme guidelines

ATW Daily News by Brian Straus - 21 Feb.07

Wednesday February 21, 2007
ICAO's Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection last week released proposed guidance to the organization's 189 member states for incorporating aviation emissions into national emission trading schemes.

The ICAO Council will review the proposal "in the coming weeks," but IATA was quick to voice its approval, saying the "outcome clearly demonstrates that global solutions are possible" and that "the only way forward is with a harmonized approach."

When Europe unveiled its plans in December to include airlines, including non-EU carriers from 2012, in the continent's ETS, IATA quickly urged the Commission to wait for ICAO's guidelines and expressed concern about the unilateral nature of the proposal (ATWOnline, Dec. 21, 2006)."We're pleased that ICAO has echoed IATA's call urging states not to jump the gun on emissions trading but to wait for the ICAO Assembly's recommendations in September 2007. Unilateral action by states is not the answer," IATA DG and CEO Giovanni Bisignani said.

ICAO proposed that member states include the following in their ETS: That aircraft operators be the accountable international aviation entity, that obligations be based upon total aggregated emissions from all covered flights conducted by each operator included in the ETS, that states consider aggregate carbon dioxide emissions and/or aircraft weight as the basis for the application of any inclusion threshold, that initial ETS include only CO2, that states ensure that aviation emissions are counted separately and not against specific reduction targets identified by the Kyoto Protocol and that states address the integration of foreign operators "under a mutually agreed basis."

The CAEP meeting also produced "many other recommendations" covering emissions and noise, plus a framework to begin investigating Nitrogen Oxide emissions, ICAO said. "Without a doubt, there is a need to act, and more than ever, ICAO is determined to provide the world with the leadership and guidance it is looking for in moving towards a sustainable global air transport system," Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez said.

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